Day 2: Thank God for Catholics - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2016

Day 2: Thank God for Catholics

Today was my first day on the Paul Bunyan trail. And while preparing this entry it occured to me that some of you might not know who Paul Bunyan is, especially if you are from some crazy place like Europe. First, you need to know that its Paul Bunyan not Paul Bunion, but that's a minor point. Anyway, Paul was a giant lumberjack who had a pet ox and.....wait, instead of trying to explain it why don't I just post the documentary?

Does that make more sense now? I cant say whether all those trees he cut down had an impact on climate change but that is for scientists to determine.

Anyway, because of his pedigree the good people of Minnesota decided to name a bike trail after him. The trail is 110 miles from top to toe and today The Trucker and I rode it south to Walker.

The trail is constructed on old railway lines and is mostly flat. In fact compared to last years trip in the U.K. it is completely flat. So I headed south to Walker, winding my way through little towns and hamlets.

One reason to stop in Walker was because of the campground in town. Except there was no campground in town.

"That campground closed about 10 years ago," said Kate who worked at Reeds sporting goods store on main street. I was gassed and didnt want to ride any further.

She then proceeded to tell me about the limited supply and high costs of hotels in the height of tourist season.

"Can I camp in the park?"

That was not allowed, but she got on the phone and spent a good 20 minutes calling people who she thought might be able to help. Some people deserve a medal and Kate is one of of those people.

We decided my best bet was to go to the Catholic church and ask if I could camp on their lawn, which the lady in the church office kindly allowed me to do.

"We had a cyclist camp on the lawn last year," she said. I dont think they are trying to make a habit of this. I just got lucky I guess.

I was greatful and didnt mention the fact that I am a heathen.

I had no shower so went across the street to the lake where they had a swimming area. I took a dip in my cycling clothes because I assumed skinny dipping was out. This isnt France. After that it was over to town for dinner.

I wandered back to the church before dusk and set up my tent, then walked over to the Laundry mat next door to sneak into the bathroom and brush my teeth, and it was there I saw an original Ms. Pacman machine! How about that!

Tomorrow I head further south, unless God strikes me down for not mentioning that I am a heathen.

Chief Bemidji
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Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe, with The Trucker
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The Paul Bunyan Trail
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Paul Bunyan Trail in action. It didnt get much more hilly than this. If you like flat you will like the Paul Bunyan trail.
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Pretty farm along the trail
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Interesting statues in Walker Minnesota.
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Instead of a shower I took a swim in the lake
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Semi-stealth campsite in Walker Minnesota Catholic Church
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Look! An original Ms. pacman machine in the Walker Minnesota laundry mat!
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Paul Bunyan trail map
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Today's ride: 48 miles (77 km)
Total: 180 miles (290 km)

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